San Diego police are investigating sex abuse allegations involving a former teacher at a local Christian school.
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10News has learned the alleged incident took place in 2010 and four families have come forward about the abuse cases at Rock Church Academy involving girls who were in kindergarten through second grade.
Latisha and Mel Zamora told 10News on Wednesday that they were heartbroken and stunned when their daughter told them she was molested by a former Rock Academy teacher when she was in first grade.
"She goes, 'He did molest me, mommy,'" said Latisha. "I tried to keep it together. I wanted to run and scream and die."
Mel added, "She kept apologizing and asked me not to be ashamed of her."
10News has decided not to reveal the identity of the teacher because he has not been charged. However, 10News has confirmed that an active investigation is underway.
The Zamoras said the teacher fondled their daughter on his lap in a dark classroom during a classroom movie.
A similar story was reported by Vanessa and Jose Rodriguez's daughter. They say their daughter was sexually abused when she was in kindergarten.
"She explained he put his hand up her shirt and he would rub her legs and insides of her legs and her bottom," said Vanessa. "He would hold her tight and not let her go. It happened every Friday on movie day."
Jose described how he felt when he found out what allegedly happened to his daughter.
"When I found out I saw red, I wanted to hurt someone," he said. "As a father I couldn't protect my daughter."
The Rodriguez family says they removed their daughter from the Academy and plan to pursue a civil lawsuit.
"The Rock should have been on our side. I thought it was safe there, that they had a check system in place. We were told our children were being watched closely. I know there are more victims, parents need to know what went on there so they can ask their children," said Vanessa.
Pastor Miles McPherson with Rock Church Academy responded with the following statement.
"This is a deeply disturbing situation that has transpired over the course of the last two years. It involves a former teacher at the Rock Church Academy. Its a sensitive story because it impacts children, parents, teachers and others who have devoted themselves to family and Christian principles. What we can say, without violating the privacy of those involved and the ongoing police investigation is that, in February 2010, after reports of a breach of Academy protocols by the teacher, the Church confirmed the behavior and his employment was promptly terminated that day. The Church also immediately forwarded the information to the San Diego Police Department. Two years after the teachers firing, when another child came forward with new allegations of inappropriate physical contact by the same teacher when he was employed at the Academy, we forwarded that information immediately to police. We do not know the status of the police investigation, but we will continue to cooperate as we have since the beginning. Since we became aware of this incident, we have attempted to provide the families with professional care and support. Meanwhile, out of respect for the privacy of those involved, we cannot comment further and we ask everyone to simply pray for the families and ask for Gods help during this difficult time."
McPherson said the Rock has provided the families with professional care and support but the Zamoras said that is not true. They question when the academy knew about the abuse and when it was reported.
"I do believe there was a cover up," said Mel.
The Zamoras say at least one teacher even walked in and witnessed the abuse.
"The teacher was so startled that he stood up and the two little girls fell off his lap and the teacher felt like she had walked into something that was not right
very uncomfortable," said Latisha.
The Zamoras say they also plan to sue the school for not doing enough to protect their daughter.
The San Diego Police Department declined to comment because this is an active investigation.
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